Probate is a process where a person is appointed to deal with the deceased’s property and affairs. It is not usually needed if the deceased’s estate amounts to less than £15,000. You can apply for probate yourself or employ a solicitor to do it for you.
If the person who has died left a will one or more ‘executors’ may be named in the will to deal with the person’s affairs after their death. The executor applies for a ‘grant of probate’ from a section of the court known as the probate registry. The grant is a legal document which confirms that the executor has the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets (property, money and possessions). They can use it to show they have the right to access funds, sort out finances, and collect and share out the deceased person’s assets as set out in the will. You can do all this on your own but a solicitor will be able to help if you wish.
If the person who has died didn’t leave a will then a close relative of the deceased can apply to the probate registry to deal with the estate. In this case they apply for a ‘grant of letters of administration’. If the grant is given, they are known as ‘administrators’ of the estate. Like the grant of probate, the grant of letters of administration is a legal document which confirms the administrator’s authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets.